CONSTRUCTION of a new GP surgery to cater for more than 2,500 residents have been delayed after a gas main was discovered.

Work on the new surgery at Basildon’s Sporting Village, off Cranes Farm Road, will now be pushed back until September, it has been confirmed.

The practice is being built to temporarily replace the Knights Surgery in Laindon, which was forced to shut as the building became unsafe.

Work on the site had begun, but was halted when workers found a gas main that had not been planned for.

The NHS has invested £850,000 in the surgery, while a new minibus service will offer patients a route between their homes, the town centre and the surgery.

Madeline Crossman, 75, of Suffolk Drive, Laindon, said: “I do not think it’s very convenient for the elderly who are the people who mostly go surgeries but they need the transport to get there.

“Surely the gas main should have been investigation before the works started. It’s a waste of money and is ridiculous.”

Back in November 2019, the Knights Surgery, in Laindon, was shut down because the building is too dangerous for staff and patients.

William Guy, Primary Care Lead for the NHS in Mid and South Essex, said: “Our priority is providing the best possible care for the 2,522 registered patients of Knights Surgery - and the wider population - through an integrated, modern healthcare facility close to its patients’ homes and with linked public transport and wellbeing provision through Basildon Sporting Village.

“We are working in partnership with Basildon Borough Council and Sporting Village operator Everyone Active to make this happen but a gas main not identified by initial surveys was found to run through the site.

This must be made safe before construction of the temporary building can continue.

“Despite everyone’s best efforts this is not likely to happen until September 2022, at which point building work for the temporary surgery will continue. All patients registered at Knights Surgery are being contacted about the move and getting the chance to share their views, but we hope they will see the benefits of a GP practice and leisure centre working together in such a way the first time that a GP surgery mid and south Essex GP has done so.”